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Bethlehem at the heart of Palestinian affairs

A flurry of diplomatic activity in Bethlehem has returned the holy city to political significance in Palestinian affairs.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry walks out after shopping for souvenirs at "The nativity Store" in Manger Square, Bethlehem, November 6, 2013. Kerry was in Bethlehem to promote USAID's assistance in improving infrastructure projects in the West Bank.   REUTERS/Jason Reed   (WEST BANK - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX15284

The Palestinian town of Bethlehem found itself this week in the heart of high-powered Palestinian political discussions and debates. Residents of the city where Christianity began felt the change that included a five-day stay in town by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a visit of Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski (Nov. 5) and meetings with US Secretary of State John Kerry (Nov. 6).

Security arrangements in Bethlehem were at their  highest level as Palestinian police forces were spread all over the city; certain sections of the city were completely out of reach for residents, and the Church of Nativity — where Christians believe Jesus was born — was a mix of regulating both the visit of ordinary tourists as well as political visitors.

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